Securing the future of a successful business like VABO means ensuring close connections to a wide range of educational institutions. Students in the Netherlands are required to take internships as part of their college education and we have had the pleasure of welcoming many to VABO. While some will eventually end up working for us when they start their careers, other former VABO interns go on to work elsewhere in the industry after they graduate.
We recently caught up with two such students, namely Jael de Looze and Steyn Boersen who earned their bachelor degrees as mechanical engineers at the Windesheim college in Almere. After their studies Jael became an aftersales coordinator and Steyn an engineer, both working at Xtenders, a company which creates luxury carbon-composite tenders for the superyacht sector. How are they finding the yachting industry?
“It’s a challenging and specialised sector to work in,” says Steyn. “New challenges arise every day and each requires a creative solution. This in turn demands a great amount of teamwork and I very much enjoy working with people I can depend on who share the same work ethics.”
“There is a clear need to be flexible and retain a keen eye for quality,” continues Jael. “I have a lot of freedom in my current position and am not required to sit behind my desk all day. There are many places to be and people to meet, which makes working in the yachting industry so interesting!”
Both say that their internship at VABO prepared them well for this line of work. “It enabled us to get to know the market well and the fast-paced, problem-solving mentality that is involved,” says Jael. “We also learned the basics when it comes to composite engineering and production. Being around people that work on a daily basis with these materials is a great source of knowledge and new ideas in its own right.”
The former interns also have a message to students who aspire to work in the yachting industry. “Be flexible and keep your priorities straight,” concludes Steyn. “A lot of stress can be avoided if you don’t put your energy into the wrong problem at the wrong time. And it also helps if you have some affinity with water!”